“Nobody’s perfect. We are all just one step above the beasts and just one step below the Angels.”
She was a beautiful young girl probably around the beginning of middle school age. She spoke perfect English with an even more perfect Hispanic accent. Not sure where angels come from but sometimes, they just seem present. She was with her Mom, Dad, and younger brother — none of whom seemed to speak a word of English.
We were at the Dollar Tree. They were family Christmas shopping. I was getting ready to do my normal offbeat thing out of who knows where. I approached the family in the aisle.
I addressed the mother and father who immediately relinquished the socially polite duty to respond to the young daughter. “They don’t speak English!” was her retort.
I then reached out my hand with fifty dollars in cash and handed it to the girl who immediately handed it to her mom.
After a few seconds of Spanish interrogation between them the girl quizzically responded, “They do not understand?”
Just tell them, “Merry Christmas.” And then, cheesy as it sounds, I smiled and just had to say it, “Feliz Navidad!” The moment was then interrupted by several overlapping muchas gracias(es).
For a couple of years a few newspaper-reading friends and I got together the week before Christmas. The plan was to distribute $50 to a total stranger with no other explanation than to wish them, “Merry Christmas!” I referred to it as Fifty for Fifty. We never reached the fifty people goal, but a couple dozen did seem to enjoy playing not-so-secret Santa.
There as many stories as there were Santas. One lady refused to accept the gift as she had been so blessed and requested another person get the offering. More than a couple of the exchanges ended with a few tears streaming and a couple of shared smiles gleaming.
Afterwards most of us gathered at a local restaurant for a meal of fun fellowship and a meet-and-greet. The most fun exchange was everyone reliving their own personal evening’s experiences and how many hearts were made happy by the giving, and in every case the heart of the giver.
Mostly we agreed that we had all given ourselves a very special Christmas gift. Nothing says the spirit of love and giving like the practice of loving and giving! To quote the most beloved Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation, “It’s the gift that keeps on giving all year long!”
I wanted to make the initial announcement a bit early and will follow up later with more definite plans. If you are desiring something a bit different this holiday season just e-mail me, and I will keep a list for an e-mail sting in December. Just label the e-mail; Fifty for Fifty!
Some Column Housekeeping
I had reason to mention Barbara Anderson in a recent column. I wanted to offer up some follow up information in case you encounter a person or situation for which she might be able to render necessary aid.
The office is located at 363 Quartermaster Court in Jeffersonville. The main Case Coordinator at the office is a very caring and hardworking angel’s assistant with whom I worked personally named Ashley Klapheke and the office phone number is 812-284-3373.
The job description for anything relating to Barbara Anderson is whatever needs to be done when there is nobody else to do it.
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” — Hebrews 1:14.